I had one of the more peaceful rides to a ferry from across to . The island of Chincoteague,VA came just before the and was my destination for this trip. The refuge is home to wild horses, and many other species. is a meeting point for many and would be my starting point for a surprising photographic opportunity.that I have ever experienced. The road to Chincoteague started in and ended in , by way of a
The three days spent here were filled with history and the zen like solitude of a personal retreat. I never have had the patience to shoot birds… until now. The presence of many herons in one place was astounding. Trying to capture them hunting and flying, was all timing and being in the right place at the right time. Horses however, drifted in and out of reach the entire trip.
Two great sunrises and a very windy finish on the beach sealed the deal. There is something about a beautiful sunrise that puts my mind and body as one with nature. The brief wait for light to finally illuminate the horizon can be euphoric. Hearing waves break during a sunrise just adds a beautiful soundtrack to the whole process. Walking along the beach on my final day as the wind picked up, you could see the rhythmic natural patterns emerge from the sand. The tiny particles would build up on one side of an object and fall away on the other. But just as the birds had to eventually leave, I too, refreshed and re-energized, had to make my migration back home.
The opportunity to take pictures sometimes can be both thought-provoking and time sensitive. I very rarely turn down an invite. Pat Worley, the SJCC’s trips coordinator, was told about a possible field trip to the Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge in Medford,NJ. Pat, being the organizational wiz she is, set a date and 19 of us participated.
I quickly found myself immersed in the background of the refuge and its inhabitants. Cedar Run takes in injured and abandoned wildlife. Their goal is to rehabilitate the hurt creatures and return them to the wild. Many times the animals cannot be returned because of severe enough injuries that would keep them from fending for themselves.
Our group split and took turns shooting the different species that were available. When viewing them through my lens, I found myself captivated by their gaze. I tried different angles to get that special composition that would spotlight the subject. This isolation proved to be just what I was looking for. You can truly form both an appreciation and attachment to the subject and its surroundings.
Upon returning home to start the editing and developing process, I thought of the other photographers and what they were seeing. I then chose to transform my images into variations of the same picture. From black and white to HDR and even a sketch and watercolor finish, this metamorphosis from one image to another brought me back to the live animal I found originally staring at me through the lens. I felt reinvigorated by seeing different takes of the same subject.
See which one moves you, and touches your soul… it’s all in the eyes of the beholder.
The slideshow below shows the transitions of each subject. To stop the slides… just click the arrows.